Was Apple’s boss Tim Cook really considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton? WikiLeaks recently dumped another trove of emails and one of the messages detailing the inner workings of the Clinton campaign specifically mention Cook as an early possibility for the Vice President of the U.S.
Cook’s name was included in the list with other potential VP candidates like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg.
Sent by Clinton campaign chairman and media pointman John Podesta on March 17, 2016, the email serves as a first draft of potential vice presidential candidates, noting that this is just a “first cut of people to consider for VP” position.
The message warned that the Clinton campaign must be “prepared to execute non-disclosure agreements with anyone we involve.”
It’s unclear if Cook was actually approached for the job.
Aside from the aforesaid names, other non-political figures listed in the message as potential VP candidates include GM CEO Mary Barra, Melinda Gates, Chairman and CEO of Xerox Ursula Burns, CEO of Coca-Cola Muhtar Kent, President of The Rockefeller Foundation Judith Rodin and CEO and Chairman of Starbucks Howard Schultz.
A few days ago, Philip Elmer‑DeWitt discovered that the latest WikiLeaks dump includes another email which seemingly confirms that Cook held a secret one-on-one meeting with Clinton campaign’s Podesta last year.
The message advises staffers to “proceed cautiously” with Cook. “He’s supportive, but new to this so I think we shouldn’t come on too strong,” reads en excerpt.
Here’s the full text of email exchange:
June 20, 2015
Re: Tim Cook + Monday
Finance event + tech roundtable went very well today in SF.
I heard from Lindsay that you are visiting Tim Cook on Monday. I would love to (kill to) join you if appropriate. However, if better smaller, no problem at all. Just wanted to share that Ill be in town all Monday since we have our Erika event on Monday night.
See you soon,
June 21, 8:02 pm
To: Hannon, Podesta
Tim’s office requested a 1:1 meeting today, which was a nice way of saying “no staff”. I think this is one we should proceed cautiously. He’s supportive but new to this so I think we shouldn’t come on too strong.
Steph, thanks for circling back, see you tomorrow night.
June, 21, 10:13 pm
To: Roitman, Podesta
Understood, thanks for getting back to me! See you at Erika’s house!
For clarity’s sake, other names mentioned in the message include former Google executive and current Clinton CTO Stephanie Hannon, chief fundraiser Lindsay Roitman and Erika Rottenberg, who is LinkedIn’s former general counsel.
Cook on his part has held fundraising events for the Clinton campaign, as well as one for Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.
So, would Cook make a good Vice President?
We may never know, but it’s easy to see that the Apple CEO has all of the desired character traits for such high-level position, like calm demeanor and analytical mind.
On the other hand, Cook’s managerial style and the fact that Steve Jobs personally picked him as his successor speak volume about Cook’s business acumen, but business is one thing and the politics is something entirely different.
Cook for President, anyone?